Be a Rock Star Host at the Long Weekend BBQ

There’s so many aspects of hosting a great get together such as location, seating, decorations or theme.  But the most important factor for being considered the rock star of bbq season is the food.  

Of course, all bbqs consist of charred meats, potato salad, corn on the cob and outdoor appetizers such as chips and dips,  however,  being conscientious of all guests diets, for reasons of weight loss or food allergies should be considered.

Here’s some helpful tips to getting you to rock star status!

Be the Talk of the Neighborhood with these BBQ Tips

  • Veggie platters are always a hit on a hot summer day and good for those calorie counters.
  • Instead of a creamy dip offer guacamole or salsa.  This will be helpful for those that may be lactose intolerant and they have less unhealthy fats.
  • Grill up some asparagus instead of corn on the cob.  Corn is high in starchy carbs.  So for those lowering their carb intake, asparagus would be a great alternative.   
  • Chicken breast is a healthy choice for dieters and less likely to cause an allergic reaction, just be careful with how you season it.
  • Offer a type of fish, preferably salmon.  Salmon is easy to grill.  Plus, they are high in protein and omega 3s.  However, there may be a possibility for a food allergy so talk with your guests.  


I hope you found value in this article.  One last tip (unrelated to food), make sure there are activities, such as toys for kids, lawn darts, or bean bag football.

weight loss

Why We Gain Weight

When we eat more calories than what our body needs in a day,  the excess gets stored as fat. Our bodies primal design is to store extra calories in the form of fat to be prepared for times when it was harder to get food. Now, with easier access to food, more people tend to overeat, and this is a severe problem that causes obesity.


Genes may also play a factor on the metabolic efficiency of your body

People who are overweight may have very different metabolisms, meaning they need less caloric intake than others, and they store the excess as fat. You have a greater risk of being obese if one parent is and an even greater risk if both parents are. However, genes only determine a tendency towards a higher or lower metabolic efficiency, not what your actual body metabolism will be.


Your metabolic rate

Besides genetics, your metabolic rate depends on how active you are. It is said that every ten years past our mid-twenties we lose about 10% of our metabolic rate. This probably does not have to do completely with age, however, but instead with how active we are. The more active we are, the more muscle mass we can retain, or even build, and in turn the more fit we are because muscle tissue is metabolically active whereas fat is not. On the other hand, if we lead a basically sedentary life, we are much more likely to be able to gain weight as we lose muscle mass.


Eating patterns

People’s eating habits make a huge difference in determining their weight. When foods high in fat or sugars are favored, this of course can cause much weight gain. Also, how you serve the food, i.e. do you put the portions on everyone’s plate or do you bring it all to the table and serve it the food family style where everyone can take as much as they want? Portion size is one of the main reasons people eat too much. Also, how have you learned to eat? If you are a fast eater, you may not even realize the cues your stomach gives you that it is full.


Larger portion sizes

Over time, larger portions of food have become the norm, especially at many restaurants. Weight has also gone up because of this.


Exercise or the lack thereof

Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle and to maintaining a healthy weight. When you exercise, especially when you include strength training in your workouts, you gain muscle mass and raise your metabolism and in turn the muscle helps to burn more fat. In turn, you will weigh less and you will look leaner and firmer because muscle takes up less space than fat. Plus, strength training helps reduce the risk of accidental injury, improves your bone density, helps with digestion and helps in lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.


As you can probably see, even if you have a history of the genes in your family making it easier to gain weight than other people, diet and exercise are the two main factors that affect your health and weight. Regular exercise is essential to getting to and maintaining a healthy weight – and so is what you eat, how you eat and how much you eat. Learn portion control. This is usually a huge factor for most people, and they do not realize how much they are actually eating. A portion of food the size of your fist is generally all that should be eaten at one time, because that is the size of your stomach as well.

Eating several small meals a day, rather than two or three big ones, will help you to be able to eat less and also not be hungry in the early days of forming this habit. Another really important thing is to not skip breakfast, as this sets up your metabolism for the day. If you don’t eat breakfast, your body will go into defense mode and store more fat because it will think you are starving.

Try slowing down your eating as well if you have the habit of eating fast. This way you can feel the signals from your stomach when you have had enough, before you stuff yourself full. When you have done that, you know for sure you have eaten too much. In reality, on a scale of 1-10 of fullness, we should feel right in the middle, around a 5, when we are done eating. It takes some practice, but you can learn this trick and you will feel so much better knowing you did not stuff yourself to the maximum capacity.

Another thing to watch of course is your intake of fatty and sugary foods. We all need nutrients, including healthy fats, to keep us balanced, but eating a lot of junk food and sugary drinks will attribute greatly to us gaining more weight. Processed foods don’t generally have a lot of nutrients in them, or any at all, and they are high in salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats.

In today’s busy lifestyles, we may not realize how often we are eating these foods. If you are one who is always ordering out for work, or going out to dinner as well, this is not going to keep you healthy because you do not have the control as to what is being put in your food (except special ordering at a restaurant) and it is much harder to make sure you are eating the right kinds of things and getting all of your nutrients. Going out to eat is fine every once in a while, but be sensible in what you are choosing, and you don’t have to clear your plate of the large servings you will most likely be given.


Are You Getting Enough Vitamin C

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin C


Vitamin C is beneficial  in the treatment for scurvy, increases iron absorption but can lower lead levels in the blood.  It can shorten the length of a common cold being it is a strong antioxidant.  It may need to be combined with other vitamins to effectively work for certain ailments.  For example, when used to reduce to the progression of age related macular degeneration , it is recommended to be combined with vitamin A, beta- carotene, vitamin E and Zinc according to WebMD.

So is there a risk of taking too much?  There are two main problems that can occur from having too much vitamin c.  They are diarrhea or kidney stones.  If you consume vitamin C in supplement form, back off a small amount if diarrhea presents itself.  

Some supplements are better than others.  I do suggest you buy any supplement from a healthfood store or a venue that their business is primarily focused on supplements.  Large chain stores tend to get the best bang for your buck, but don’t necessarily have your best supplement intake interest at heart.  Leave that to the experts and their knowledge base.  

I also suggest you talk with your pharmacist if you take medications to ensure no drug interactions.  For example, if you are taking chemo medication, vitamin C may lower their effectiveness.  Also, vitamin C in some forms can be acidic and may not be the right form for someone with ulcers or acid reflux.

Of course, it is always better to get our vitamin intake from the foods we eat.  Some foods high in vitamin C are….

    • Citrus Fruits such as oranges and lemons.  Add lemon to your drinking water.  It will taste great and is a great source of many vitamins and minerals.
    • Red and Green Peppers.  Slice them up for a nutritious low cal snack at work.


  • Kiwifruit is high in fiber and vitamin C but not very high in other vitamins or minerals.


  • Kale a superfood.  Not everyone likes this vegetable, however it is high in vitamin C, potassium and is a good source of fiber.  It is known to support healthy bones, skin, heart and more.
  • Brussel Sprouts again not everyone is a fan of these tiny cabbages.  But like Kale, they are high in fiber and vitamins.  

How to Choose a Weight Loss Plan

How to Choose a Weight Loss Plan


Finding the best weight loss program can be difficult.  Understanding the various diets and choosing the perfect program can be confusing and stressful.  Especially being these weight management programs and diet plans are a dime a dozen.  


Before we put the cart before the horse, there are a few problems we need to work out first.


How much time do you have in your week to commit to a program?  

Meal planning and scheduled exercise times can eat up a good chunk of your week.  Physically write your week on paper.  That means everything from work times, driving, kids activities, to lawn work and housekeeping. Set a definite schedule and make it your weekly routine.   Using memory alone is a sure way to forget and will cause failure.  


What foods are you just not willing to give up?

Don’t give up your comfort foods completely.  They are called comfort foods for a reason.  Life is stressful and if you let go of those foods you’ve come accustomed to,  you will eventually go back and sometimes overindulge in them.  Keep them on hand, but ask yourself “ do I really need this right now?” and if the answer is yes after a bit of soul searching then have it.  Don’t eat the whole container of ice cream, but allow yourself a small portion.  Sometimes, just knowing it’s in the house is enough to take the panic out of the equation.  


What is your budget?

Diet pills, shakes, and special foods can be expensive.  Furthermore,  don’t buy foods that will just end up rotten in the garbage.  You have to like them.  Many diet plans offer alternative options. For example, instead of brussels sprouts use asparagus.  


Do you have support to keep you motivated?

Let everyone close to you know what you are planning and even ask them for their support.  Call those willing to help in a moment of weakness. (before grabbing those comfort foods)  Let them know what not to bring around you, such as, potato chips and soda.

Before you join a gym or buy those yoga cds, make sure they are equipped with your level of physical fitness.

When exercises seem too tough it can be discouraging.  Find a beginners program, or a gym that’s not filled with overly muscular men drinking “the juice” in the back room.  Start out small.  Go for walks, ride a bike in your neighborhood where the traffic patterns are familiar to you.  Sometimes exercising at home can be more comfortable being no one is watching you sweat profusely and making numerous mistakes while learning the moves.  


Making a life change can be difficult.  And for those of us that struggle,  we all know too well what excess fat feels like to our health, what it does to our appearance, and I hate to say it but how some people view us.   Our bodies don’t move the same, we have aches and pains we may not have if we didn’t carry the extra weight.  I found these tips very helpful in my own search to a healthier me and I hope you found value.  Below is a link to a yoga product I found to be very helpful to me.  It would be perfect for anyone with no to little experience and flexibility.  Even if you are just looking to gain some flexibility and stretch some aches out, I do recommend it. And you can’t beat the price!

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